Birth: And Being

People who have become parents in the last 30 years with access to adequate healthcare have routinely had the opportunity to listen to the baby’s heartbeat and see sonogram pictures of the fetus.  For all of human history, mothers have felt the baby move and, perhaps, invited others to place a hand on their abdomens to feel the baby move.  I have had these experiences, and one more.  Each time I beheld each of our children for the first time, it was so clear to me that they were already somebody, a Being. I had this distinct moment with each of them, for which I have few adequate words, where the child’s “who-ness” presented itself to me.  Each was not just “baby Patrick” waiting to be named.  Each came to us with a distinct Being. I am not making a scientific or ethical statement.  I am describing what I experienced.

In the airport recently, I was seated near several children.  A few engaged me in a little conversation, and it was so clear to me that these little ones have a being of their own.  I also watched how their parents interacted with them which, over time, intentionally or not, will shape them into other beings–the beings that make their parents feel better, that society approves of, etc.  Or not.  Watching them left me musing:  when will each of these little beings find their own true selves again?

Who are you, really? Apart from what others want you to be, Who are You?  Who do you Be?  When is the last time you celebrated the Being that you are and always have been? Been a while?  Take a moment today in some personal space, and remember who You are, and honor your Being.  Your very birth asks you to do this.

Bob Patrick

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